Southington YMCA names new executive director

Jay Jaronko, Southington YMCA executive director

The Southington branch of the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA announced the hiring of Jay Jaronko as the new Southington branch executive director last week. Jaronko will begin his work on Feb. 25.

“I could not be more happy to welcome Jay home to the Southington Community YMCA,” said SCCYMCA CEO Mark Pooler in a press release. “He brings a ton of YMCA experience and enthusiasm, he is a great leader and excels in relationship-building, leading teams, problem-solving and is a strong advocate for youth and teens. We are excited to tap into what Jay has learned in Westport and I believe he is the right leader to bring our YMCA to the next level.”

Jaronko is no stranger to the YMCA as he started his career at SCCYMCA in 2004 as a camp staff member at YMCA Camp Sloper. He went on to become the youth program director in 2007, and spent time as the outdoor center program director at Sloper from 2011 to 2013.

He has spent the last six years developing his leadership skills at the Westport-Weston YMCA where he served as the senior program director. Jaronko is a Southington native, graduate of Southington High School and of University of Connecticut with a degree in history in 2007.

“I am excited for the opportunity to return to my hometown,” said Jaronko in a press release. “Southington is a special community, and I’m honored to, once again be a part of it. I’m looking forward to learning how the YMCA and the town has changed over the last six years.”


Jaronko now resides in Newtown with his wife and their three year old son. He has an extensive resume including work as a YMCA professional network member, past treasurer, vice chair and chair of the Connecticut YMCA network, and past youth, teen and day camp chair. In the community, he has been involved in the Westport Sunrise Rotary, Newtown Community Center committees, Westport Police Athletic League basketball and more.

There recently has been some restructuring in the YMCA that ultimately will result in significant savings in staffing wages. The position Jaronko is assuming as the Southington branch director was formerly the director of operations. He will oversee aquatics, child care, health and wellness, membership, and will be involved in several community wide initiatives. The former IT director Kevin Simms has transitioned to the newly revised operations director role, covering IT facilities, marketing and special projects in Southington and Cheshire.

The next phase of restructuring will involve a new full time development director to help with special events and growing fundraising needs. The position was developed at no additional cost to the YMCA, as they have consolidated two part-time positions to make this possible.

With the savings in staffing wages, the YMCA has reinvested in needed support positions throughout the association in areas of accounting, aquatics and membership to help better serve members.